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Sunday 21 September  
Pussy Riot members in Moscow courtroom
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Moscow, Russia
Moscow, Russia

Pussy Riot women face two years in prison

Published on : 17 August 2012 - 4:36pm | By ((C) ANP)
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Russian police have rounded up pro-Pussy Riot protesters, including former world chess champion Garry Kasparov after the feminist punk band was found guilty of hooliganism and sentenced to two years in prison in one of the most closely watched cases in recent Russian history.

Hundreds of Pussy Riot supporters had filled a narrow street outside the court where the verdict was delivered, chanting "Russia without Putin!" amid heavy police presence.

The three women were found guilty of hooliganism driven by religious hatred.

They were arrested in March after a guerrilla performance in Moscow's main cathedral calling for the Virgin Mary to protect Russia against Vladimir Putin, who was elected to a new term as Russia's president a few days later. The judge said their actions displayed a "clear disrespect toward society".

The case has attracted international attention as a symbol of the Putin regime’s increasing intolerance of opposition.

Click to watch an earlier video about the Pussy Riot trial.

 

Discussion

Anonymous my ass 20 August 2012 - 11:03am

I dont get it, why is this such a big story.
if some deranged Russian trashed gay parade in Amsterdam he would end up in jail just as well.
National monuments and Ortodox churches are important to the Russians, just as much gay parades are important to the Dutch.
So what do you expect when you commit acts of vandalism?

Anonymous 23 August 2012 - 9:39pm

If some deranged person sang a few punk songs at the gay pride parade he definitely wouldn't be sentenced to two years of hard labor.
Besides, there was no vandalism. Nothing was broken. Some feelings were hurt. Big deal.

saskia 19 August 2012 - 2:02am

I never read how this incident actually began ...Did these girls just suddenly appear in that cathedral (unannounced & uninvited ) with hoods over their heads to interrupt a church service w/ families & children who were expecting something else? If so...then they are indeed guilty of many things & should pay some kind of price. Two years in prison seems overly harsh & ridiculous ,but there should be some consequences for such rude, crude & disrespectful behavior .If that is true , then I agree w/ the judge who said " ...their actions displayed a "clear disrespect toward society"....Or did they trespass when no one else was there ? What are the facts ..can anyone report ? Young people should realize that FREE SPEECH is not a license to do or say absolutely anything & everything.There are limits to it...& by the way, it is not actually FREE.
With that said...we all know that Russia still has a long , long , way to go .

saskia 19 August 2012 - 2:10am

I just went back & saw that they did indeed storm into the church & naturally disturbed those in attendance. I read they later apologized, & that is good, but still the damage was done & they must face some type of consequence for such rude behavior. Surely some people were truly frightened by it. I would say 3 months in prison, a year of probation afterwards to do community service ,& perhaps a small fine to pay for any damages .

JamesCDN 26 August 2012 - 7:52am / Canada

Saskia you claim that "their actions displayed a "clear disrespect toward society"

What do you define as Society? Do you include everyone, in this "society"? Well the Russian Orthodox church's world does not include gay people, is that not disrespect? Who is the one being disrespected Saskia? The Orthodox Church is the prominent group which was behind the banning of the Gay pride parade in Moscow. We have one in Vancouver Canada where I am and it's for everyone to have fun. I am not gay myself, and see it as a positive fun day for the city. The people you are defending, as being so offended, see homosexuality as a disease, that will spread by having a parade. Want Facebook blocked in the entire country because it "openly popularizes homosexuality among minors". They have even banned a pride house at the upcoming winter Olympics in Sochi. Had one in Vancouver it was a big hit with the public.

These women didn't do any property damage, and deserve only praise for trying to drag Russia into the modern age.

Do any of the church members stop for a minute to think of the damage they do to society by their actions?

"rude behaviour" is a question of perspective. They have maybe got a little upset, but at least no one will beat them up for a being in a marginalized sexual orientation. These women did a non-violent confrontation in a prominent location of the group that oppresses them.
You can't say the same for the Russian Orthodox "protesters" which turn up at gay events Mr. Nevzorov said of Russian Orthodox Clerics "“They encourage their blockheads to beat the girls at gay parades" Is that not appalling? Do you still think jail time is warranted?

Anonymous 23 August 2012 - 9:42pm

Do you live in a dictatorship, Saskia? There was no damage done. The Russian orthodox church has it as easy as Islam in Iran.

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